The word ‘Geography’ has been derived from the Greek words ‘geo’ and ‘graphein’ which translate to earth description or earth writing. Geography involves the study of diverse places on the surface of Earth, their varied environments and also the interactions between them.
This academic discipline studies the characteristics of the natural environment of a place, the residing population and the various interactions that occur. The geographic study of a place usually involves the learning about its topography, knowing the climate and the weather patterns, the vegetation prevalent in the area along with the response of the human beings to that environment by following the industrial, agricultural, urbanisation and other land settlement patterns.
History of Geography
Historically, the geographic discipline involved about the thinking of the environmental concept, the spaces and places. It was meant to provide an understanding of the physical dimension we occupy and the way we transform environments so that the places are more favourable for inhabiting in the long run. This discipline took major structure in the 20th century as it formed a bridge between the social and the natural sciences.
In recent times, Geography serves as a window to a number of concurrent issues such as environmental change and globalisation. It also highlights a detailed appreciation of differences that exist locally, the gradual change in disciplinary interests and the various practices that reflect those issues.
Fields of Geography
A vast academic discipline, Geography, both in its approach and subject matter has been broadly classified into two fields. These fields include:
Physical Geography: This field of geography mainly is concerned with the natural processes of environments and the systems by which they are studied. Study of the contemporary process, as well as investigation of environmental change, are included under this field of study.
Human Geography: Human Geography mainly concerns with the social, cultural, economic and political disciplines, which are a reflection of the major areas of contemporary life.